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National Theatre’s Connections Festival 2024 - Press Release

Lights and coloured ticket tape landing on performing kids

National Theatre’s Connections Festival 2024 PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release
National Theatre’s Connections Festival is set to return to Pitlochry Festival Theatre championing young acting talent from around Scotland. Pitlochry Festival Theatre is thrilled to announce that once again it has been selected as one of only two theatres in Scotland to host the National Theatre’s prestigious Connections Festival which showcases the best of exciting young acting talent from around the country.

On 12 and 13 April, Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Studio will host Spotlights Community Youth Theatre from Forfar, Aberdeen based Shazam Theatre Company (SCIO) and Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts, and from Falkirk Denny High School Drama Club as they perform the Scottish premières of the new plays, The Sad Club by Luke Barnes & Adam Pleeth, Back in the Day by Yasmeen Khan, Age is Revolting by Abi Zakarian and Replica by Titas Halder.

Now in its 29th year, Connections 2024 draws together ten new plays from some of the UK’s most talented and popular playwrights for young people – aged between 13 and 19 – to perform. These are plays for a new generation of theatre-makers who want to ask questions, challenge assertions, and test boundaries, and for those who love to invent and imagine a world of possibilities.
This year the National Theatre will be working with over 250 youth companies from all over the UK. The plays offer young performers an engaging and diverse range of material to perform, read or study. Touching on themes like trans-rights, the mental health crisis, colonial history, disability activism, and climate change, the collection provides topical, pressing subject matter for students to explore.

Previous playwrights have included Liz Lochhead, Mark Ravenhill, Anthony Neilson, David Mamet, Bryony Lavery, Lenny Henry, James Graham, and Cush Jumbo.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre producer Deborah Dickinson said:
We are delighted to be welcoming four youth theatre companies to perform at the NT
Connections Festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre this spring. It’s our second year of being
part of this amazing nationwide festival and we are thrilled to be championing the talent of
young people in Scotland by showcasing their work in our Studio theatre.
We are looking forward to the Theatre being full of youthful energy and enthusiasm and
seeing some great shows.”
Kirsten Adam, Head of Young People’s Programmes at the National Theatre, said,
“We are so excited to be working with Pitlochry Festival Theatre again for this coming year of
National Theatre Connections as they host performances from four of their talented local groups. NT Connections champions the talent of young people from across the UK and we cannot wait to see the imagination and creativity of young people nationwide develop through Connections this coming year.”
NT Connections Festival takes place at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on 12 and13 April.
Tickets are available from the Pitlochry Festival Theatre box office on 01796 484626 or online.

For all press interviews please contact Duncan Clarke PR:
T 07880893750 or E

Tickets: All tickets £5
Box Office and group bookings: 01796 484626

Friday 12 April 7pm – Studio (two productions)
The Sad Club
by Luke Barnes
with music by Adam Pleeth
performed by Spotlights Community Youth Theatre (Forfar)
Suitable for 13+
This is a musical about depression and anxiety. It’s a collection of monologues, songs, and duologues from all over time and space exploring what about living in this world stops us from being happy and how we might go about tackling those problems.

Back in the Day
by Yasmeen Khan
performed by Denny High School Drama Club (Falkirk)
Suitable for 13+
A group of classmates are charged with the responsibility of being their school’s well-being champions. In a
freak occurrence they are transported back to the ‘80s via an impromptu and heavily improvised roller disco. Here they discover they’re not the only ones with skeletons in the cupboard, and there was more to the ‘80s than glitterballs and strange haircuts.

Saturday 13 April at 7pm – Studio (two productions)
Age is Revolting
by Abi Zakarian
performed by Shazam Theatre Company (SCIO) (Aberdeen)

Suitable for 13+
Choir is for mad old people, right?
When a group of school kids rebel against their boring music lesson, they hit the wrong note and magically
transform into their 80-year-old selves…and now live in a care home. Suddenly age, and their understanding of it, feels very relevant as they begin to confusedly navigate their way back to the present; no longer older, but maybe just a little wiser.

by Titas Halder
performed by Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts (Aberdeen)
Suitable for 16+
Something happened on the school trip. One of the class has been replaced by an exact replica of themselves. At least that’s what everyone’s saying. Once a rumour starts, it can be difficult to remember what is real – or who. Convinced that there is an impostor walking among them, a group of teenagers is determined to root out the intruder. A mystery about friendship, the nature of truth, and humanity. When it comes to it, how do you prove that you are a human?

Pitlochry Festival Theatre. A Theatre for Everyone. A Theatre for a Lifetime.
Since 1951, Pitlochry Festival Theatre has been the artistic heart and soul of Highland Perthshire. Attracting
over 100,000 visitors every year, we’re more than simply a place to come and see a show – we are Scotland’s leading producer of musical theatre, a champion of ensemble practice and the country’s only rurally-located, major arts organisation. Our vision is to improve lives by sharing Pitlochry with the world and the world with Pitlochry. Our aim is to create life-enhancing experiences in our Theatre and its glorious eleven-acre campus that encompasses the magical Explorers Garden. In everything we do, we are committed to nurturing an exciting creative and cultural future for Scotland.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council. It is
also grateful to the many individual donors, trusts and foundations who continue to support the Theatre in its vision.